Lewis (left) and Ross address the parliament

The Scottish Youth Parliament met in the Western Isles for the first time ever this afternoon.

The historic sitting - held in the Nicolson Institute - heard from both Western Isles MSYPs – Ross Macleod and Lewis Macdonald, both from Tarbert, in Harris.

Since today was also Ross’s 19th birthday, he was presented with a surprise cake and card, along with an impromptu chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’.

The session was opened by Comhairle Convener Norman A. Macdonald, who said he was thrilled to see the Scottish Youth Parliament convene in Stornoway. 

He hoped delegates would have an enjoyable weekend in the Western Isles, and that the rain wouldn’t dampen their spirits. 

After being introduced by SYP Chair Katie Burke, the packed hall heard from the two Western Isles representatives – Ross Macleod and Lewis Macdonald. 

They gave a presentation on the social, economic and cultural dynamics of the islands, and revealed that when they stood for election to the Scottish Youth Parliament, they shared ‘near-identical’ aspirations for their area. 

Those were better internet access, reduced delivery costs and an increased subject choice in schools.

Before being elected to the Scottish Youth Parliament, Lewis Macdonald was a member of the Harris Youth Council and was leader of the local engineering club.

He is still heavily involved in that through Sir E. Scott Secondary School. 

He is currently beginning a gap year where he will be based in Harris. 

Ross Macleod won an award for his volunteering at a local youth club and is now studying Computing Science in Napier University.

This morning, MSYPs had a wide and varied choice of things to do while on the island.

Some chose free time, while some had free access to the gym.

Others saw a preview of the new museum at Lews Castle, while the majority went on a tour of the Westside.

Some others went to ‘Air an Lot’ in Ness to see a working croft.

During their stay in the Western Isles, MSYPs are going to be debating motions, looking at phase two (Advocacy) on their current campaign ‘Speak your Mind’ – a campaign on young peoples' mental health.

The AGM of the Scottish Youth Parliament takes place tomorrow (Saturday) in Stornoway.

This is the 60th sitting of the SYP, which was formed in 1999.

Comhairle convener Norman A. Macdonald opened the session